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The articles photographer and professional photography overlap thematically. Help me to better differentiate or merge the articles (→  instructions ) . To do this, take part in the relevant redundancy discussion . Please remove this module only after the redundancy has been completely processed and do not forget to include the relevant entry on the redundancy discussion page{{ Done | 1 = ~~~~}}to mark. Fallen Sheep ( discussion ) 13:36, Oct 3, 2018 (CEST)

" Nadar raises photography to the height of art."
(Caricature by H. Daumier , 19th century)
Robert Capa
(Image: Gerda Taro  1936)
Professional Fashion Photography (2009)
Photographer (Image: Renate Rössing  1948)
Photographers, UEFA Euro 2008

Photographer and Photographer (also Lichtbildner ) is a nationally recognized training occupation. Photographers create static or moving images for various purposes. The generic term for example, includes professions such as architecture photography , event photography , industrial photography , landscape photography , motion picture photography , aerial photography , fashion photography , portrait photography , product photography , photojournalism , still photography , underwater photography , advertising photography , scientific photography , artistic photography , etc.

Professional practice and fields of activity

Photographers use the camera to capture individual impressions of people or nature, of events or of objects. Often they specialize in a field such as portrait, advertising, press or science photography. They master the entire process of photographic products from brainstorming and planning, lighting and staging to preparing the resulting images for all display options. Photographers work freelance, are active in the photographic industry or in public institutions. Large newspaper publishers employ their own press photographers . Sometimes they are also employed in photo retailers or in large industrial laboratories and open-plan studios. In addition, they offer press services and agencies, picture archive services, advertising and media agencies and employment opportunities in film and television.

The quality of the recordings is largely based on experience and preparatory work. Camera, film, lens, lighting and the subject must be coordinated with one another. The digital post-processing also forms an important part of the professional practice. Outdoors, photographers work making optimal use of natural light, at the selected " location " or in the studio with lighting and with the appropriate decoration, which can be as lavishly designed as a scene . The most common field of activity is likely to be staged photography .

Photo assistants
Photo assistants relieve photographers by preparing and post-processing the work that arises and sometimes take pictures themselves under instruction. See also camera operator and photo assistant .



In Germany, photographer is a recognized training occupation according to the craft regulations (HwO). This 3-year training course, which is regulated nationwide, is offered in the trades in the following areas:

  • Portrait photography
  • Product photography
  • Industrial and architectural photography
  • Science photography

In addition to the traditional artisanal

there is the possibility of purely school-based training:

further education

After a basic photographic training, there is the possibility of further training to become a master in photography (also a master photographer) or through a further training course at a higher technical school to become a state-certified technician specializing in photography.

In the artistic field, there is a Master of Arts (MA) course, the artistic master class or a master class course .

In the scientific field there is the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Course .


Photographer (apprenticeship)

Training to be a photographer takes four years in Switzerland.

Graduated photo designer

In addition to the apprenticeship as a photographer, there is also the possibility of training to become a qualified photo designer , a higher technical examination . The training lasts three years, two of which are internships, and is particularly aimed at career changers. Relevant previous education (especially the apprenticeship as a photographer) can be taken into account.



In Austria photography has been a free trade since December 2013 ( Federal Law Gazette I No. 212/2013 ). Anyone can practice the trade of professional photographer by registering a business.

There are the following academic courses in Vienna:

Occupation and job title

The professional practice must be reported to the Chamber of Crafts, which has to keep a separate list in accordance with Section 19 HwO. The prerequisite for entry in the trade register is that the activity is carried out as a trade and is recorded in the list (Appendix B, Section 1 of the Crafts Code).

Photographer in the narrower sense is the job title of the photographer . The profession of photographer, now known as photographer , is a professional title in Germany, Austria and Switzerland that is awarded after a state-regulated professional training. Professional photographers with a different training accordingly use other protected job titles such as qualified photo designer , photo technician or photo designer (state-approved) . The professional titles of photographer master , Staatl. Certified technician and the title of master craftsman can only be used after appropriate professional training and additional training; they are protected (FS regulations and HwO § 51, § 117).

In contrast, the terms photo designer , picture maker , picture reporter , photo journalist , picture reporter or photographer are not protected.

Since January 1, 2004, in Germany, according to Annex B of the Crafts and Trades Code, the profession has been one of the professions not subject to admission (Section 18, Paragraph 2), which means that professional photography can also be practiced without evidence of a master craftsman's training. Due to the amendment of the Crafts Code, self-taught people are also allowed to practice commercial professional photography. Without an apprenticeship qualification, however, you may call yourself a photographer , but you may not train (HwO). This does not affect the journalistic or artistically active picture makers.

In Austria, the designation professional photographer has been one of the independent trades since December 18, 2013, after the Constitutional Court ruled on November 27, 2013 that the previously applicable § 94 Z 20 GewO 1994 (regulated trade professional photographer) for violating the right to freedom of Employment was unconstitutional. In the age of digital photography, it would no longer be possible to restrict the trade due to the reasons that once led to the restriction (such as the use of chemicals).


There are various interest groups and professional associations for professional photographers.

Interest groups

Photographic Society - (PhG)

Professional association corporation under public law

Federal Guild Association, umbrella organization of state guild associations and guilds : Central Association of German Professional Photographers - (CV)
Professional photographers in Austria
Swiss professional photographer and photo designer SBF

Free professional associations

Association of photographic designers (VfB)

Amateur photographer

Hobby photographers photographing wild animals on the Chobe

Thanks to the digital development of technology (such as camera technology and image processing programs) and the associated possibility of taking good photos even as an amateur, there are more and more ambitious amateur photographers. Some of them publish their photos on the Internet on platforms such as Flickr or Instagram . Many amateurs also take part in photo competitions to show their skills. In photo competitions, there are hardly any qualitative differences between the photographs of professionals and amateurs.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Photographer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Photographers  - album with pictures, videos and audio files


Individual evidence

  1. Archive link ( Memento from October 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Archive link ( Memento from October 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  3.  ( page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  4.  ( page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  5. Handicrafts role: definition, term and explanation in . In: . ( [accessed on October 3, 2017]).
  6. knowledge G49 / 2013 of the Constitutional Court of 27 November 2013, available on the Legal Information System of the Republic of Austria (RIS).
  7. Professional photographers: The highest court opens the trade to everyone. OÖNachrichten, December 19, 2013, accessed December 20, 2013 .